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During my four years as President, I led the Council through a priority setting exercise each year, designed to identify the core issues to focus on for the year. Council President Clark plans to continue this plan. In 2011, Councilmembers identified 17 priorities. Here’s a report on how I think we did, from one to four asterixes:
Build a livable city for our future
ECONOMIC RECOVERY Advance strategies to foster economic development and promote new jobs, including considering a ‘one-stop’ permitting system, ensuring that regulations are data-driven and goal oriented, expanding workforce training, and developing new marketing tools for businesses. *** We delivered on all of these and more, and Seattle is now leading the way out of the recession, but we still have a lot of work to do to reach full recovery.
DEVELOPMENT Adopt legislation making Yesler Terrace replacement a model for sustainable mixed income communities, retaining and seeking to increase low-income housing units. Change zoning and land use rules in the South Downtown Neighborhoods and transit communities to promote more housing, smarter design, business success, housing affordability, and neighborhood sustainability ** Progress on Yesler and transit communities continues, but has been slower than expected; changes in South Downtown were completed.
PARTNERSHIP Continue to implement the Council’s Seattle for Washington strategy to strengthen Seattle’s relationships on the regional and state level. **** We have forged new positive relationships to work together on state and regional concerns.
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP Develop specific milestones and steps for Seattle’s carbon neutral goal, update the Climate Action Plan, and add “vehicle miles travelled” reduction targets to the Comprehensive Plan. Continue implementing the Zero Waste Strategy. Begin adapting to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. *** Council formally approved Carbon Neutral 2050 goal, and climate work continues to advance, towards completion in 2012. Plastic bag ban and yellow pages opt-out program were significant steps in zero waste.
LIBRARIES Work with Seattle Public Library on a proposed voter approved levy to expand library services, strengthen partnerships with Seattle Schools and to help relieve pressure on the General Fund. **** Council adopted resolution setting path for Library Levy in August, 2012.
Foster safe, just and healthy communities for all
SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION Renew the Families and Education Levy in partnership with Seattle Schools. Foster a community-wide belief that every child in every school neighborhood can excel and graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college or obtain a career credential of their choice. **** Families and Ed Levy doubled in size and renewed by 65% of voters. Progress in improving education system.
PUBLIC SAFETY Ensure effective neighborhood policing and efficient use of police resources by supporting innovative community safety strategies, adopting the “Gold Standard” for batterer intervention services, and supporting a comprehensive response plan for juvenile sex trafficking. *** Much progress made on community safety strategies and issues around batterer treatment and juvenile sex trafficking, continued work needed to make neighborhood policing work. Justice Department report highlights new emphasis needed to tackle issues of police accountability and procedures.
REINVENTING NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES Develop a new operations model for Community Centers. Restructure the Neighborhood District Coordinator system and associated civic engagement efforts. ****/** Operations model for Community Centers developed and implemented. Slower progress on Department of Neighborhoods, will be 2012 task.
RACE, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND OPEN GOVERNMENT Promote race and social equity in city government work. Implement strategies to support education and job readiness, equal access to technology, and other community-based approaches. Implement new technology measures for increased citizen access through the public engagement portal and constituent relations management system. **** Implementation of Race and Social Justice Initiative, creation of new Refugee and Immigrant Office, new technology initiatives, including Great Student Initiative to provide computers for students.
LOCAL FOOD ACTION INITIATIVE Emphasize rural-urban connections and economic development through encouraging local food production and food-related businesses. Work with community partners to develop opportunities for increasing healthy food production, distribution, and marketing. **** Great combination of community action and City support, long list of accomplishments.
HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Implement the Housing Levy to encourage long term affordability and support housing for the disabled and homeless communities. Support emergency, transitional, and permanent housing for survivors of domestic violence. *** Housing levy continues to be effective, work is underway on addressing unmet needs for housing for domestic violence survivors.
Invest public resources fairly and effectively
BUDGET Adopt a sustainable 2012 budget that invests in public safety and human services. Expand partnerships with the City’s unions and employees to deliver services to the public in cost effective ways while respecting the skills and commitment of the City’s work force. Work on potential changes to the retirement system, better management of health care costs, and increase efficiency of personnel functions. Develop strategies to fund parks operation and maintenance. **** Excellent budget work, partnership with unions and employees, significant steps in address efficiency measures. Initial steps on Parks successful.
CLEAN ENERGY Adopt a long-range strategic plan and new financial policies for Seattle City Light to keep focused on conservation and renewable resources for our future while ensuring financial stability and equitable rates. Continue exploring a smart grid and broadband services. *** Much progress was made on these issues, continued work is required.
SR 99 REPLACEMENT PROJECT Consider legislation approving agreements with the State to advance the project on schedule while fully protecting Seattle’s interests. Work to secure increased transit funding, protection for portal neighborhoods, and the foundation for the new waterfront. Place a funding plan for the seawall and waterfront on the ballot. ****/***/* Four stars for completing agreement with the State and moving forward with the tunnel. Three stars for continued progress on the waterfront and seawall design, and advocacy on transit funding. One star for not having reached the point where we can move forward with a funding plan for the seawall and waterfront (we were overly optimistic about the pace at which this can progress).
SR 520 Continue to advance Seattle’s interests in protecting the Arboretum and our neighborhoods, securing a full funding plan, increasing transit funding and access, and moving the project forward. *** Success in continuing to advance Seattle’s interests and negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding with the state, and in advocating for funding and transit, but there is still a big funding gap that the State has to figure out.
CAPITAL INVESTMENT PLAN Determine options for funding Seattle’s transportation system in conjunction with Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee III, and expand transportation choices and sustainable funding sources for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans. Develop a strategic approach for major capital projects, including the Seawall, the North Precinct, the City’s elements of the SR 99 Replacement program, and initiating strategic capital planning for Parks and the Seattle Center. * While there continues to be some progress, voters turned down the VLF proposal, and we have not put a strategic capital plan together.
TRANSIT Work with the County and State to Identify funding resources to support fairly allocated bus service connecting Seattle neighborhoods and linking Seattle to job centers in other parts of King County. Support the construction of the First Hill Streetcar, progress on Sound Transit lines, and continuation and expansion of electric trolley buses. **** This is a great example of the success of our outreach work, as the County changed its transit allocation formula and secured a short-term funding source from the State. First Hill Streetcar is moving forward, and East Link is now ready for final design.